Waterproof Tours Suriname strives for a sustainable approach in all its operations. The conservation of flora and fauna and the involvement of the local community are most important when assembling our tours. Furthermore we make maximum use of local resources.
In 2016 the company started the Travelife sustainability process. This is a step by step process for the company to become more sustainable and eventually officially certified. Travelife is part of an Export training program, provided by the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands. In 2016 we were the first company in Suriname to be certified. We continued our way to sustainability which lead to the result of being certified again in October 2018.
At the moment Waterproof tours Suriname collaborates with different accommodations, which are Travelife partners or Travelife certified. The company also buys sustainable products and services when local available. We involve our employees and tour guides in this process to achieve awareness and to improve our services. It is important to respect the environment, culture and nature for the preservation of what the world has to offer. The company also has a Vestor membership, this is an association for tour operators in Suriname. Liesbeth Gummels, owner of Waterproof Tours Suriname, is one of the board members of this association, she also played an important role in the development of the National Standards for touroperators in Suriname (2014).
Sustainability is incorporated in the mission statement of the company. Waterproof Tours Suriname aims to bring tourism in Suriname to a higher level. As a Destination Management Company we communicate with our customers and partners in Suriname and abroad. Reliability, quality and sustainability are a priority for Waterproof in building strong relationships. Transparent and personal communication with customers, and attention to details in our services, makes it possible to enlighten our clientele in the field of sustainability. Together with the guests we make conscious choices. Also in the collaboration with our partners within Suriname and abroad, is the information concerning a sustainable approach extremely important. We stimulate our partners to prioritize sustainability, and we are open for suggestions and ideas for a good collaboration towards sustainable tourism. Because of our approach on different levels, it is possible to work optimally to limit the negative influences of tourism on culture, nature and the environment. Finally, we want to achieve that Suriname can grow as a touristic destination, so the country and inhabitants can benefit from it.
With the knowledge from the Travelife program we have formulated a mission statement and objectives. With this the approach of Waterproof with respect to sustainable tourism is clear. In the Waterproof Sustainability Policy this is formulated in more detail. All employees at Waterproof are involved in this approach. We work on this together and we’ve already achieved good results. If you have questions about sustainability, please contact us.
Travelife is recognized by GSTC (Global sustainable tourism council) and the initiative is founded in 2007 and is based on the central role of tour operators and travel agents in the tourism supply chain. Their unique position between suppliers and buyers enables them to influence consumer demand, procurement policies and the development of destinations. This allows them to contribute significantly to sustainable development and environmental and cultural protection in destinations. Travelife aims to offer companies the knowledge, solutions and tools to implement positive change within their businesses and their supply chain.
The CO2 emission of the flight and during your stay in Suriname tops the list of most negative influences of travelling. Unfortunately this is inevitable, but it is possible to compensate for CO2 emission. When you book tour at Waterproof your CO2 emission is mentioned on your itinerary. You can choose yourself to compensate the CO2 emission with an organization of your’ choice.
It may be tempting to hold a caiman or monkey for your holiday pictures. But this can be a reason for locals to capture animals in the wild and hold them in captivity. Let the animals be free in their natural habitat, so we can keep seeing them in the wild.
Wild animals are sometimes kept in cages as pets or to sell. Please do not pay any attention to these animals and do not buy them free. This will only stimulate capturing more animals in the wild.
Respect for the local people is very important. Do not take pictures of people or their property without asking. By asking politely we respect the locals and can feel welcome on our visits. If you do want to take a picture and ask beforehand, most of the time this is not an issue.
Sometimes locals will ask to be paid for taking pictures of them, their property or animals. Do not contribute to this, in this way we prevent commercialization.
By buying local products and paying a fair price we stimulate the sustainability of the locals and their land.
To prevent stimulating begging amongst children we advise not to give any candy or school supplies directly to children. If you want to contribute please do so through a local project, a school or an orphanage. You can also ask your guide for information or assistance.
Fortunately this does not happen often in Suriname. But if you do witness child or forced labor please notify the tour operator. Do not buy food or supplies from kids on the streets, because we do not wish to stimulate these proceedings.
Suriname is not a destination where child sex tourism is very well known, although it does happen as confirmed by reliable sources. Should you encounter a suspicious situation please contact us immediately. On the website; www.thecode.org you can find additional information about the subject.
Buying souvenirs made out of protected plant or animals is punishable by law. This does not happen often in Suriname but please be cautious.
A fan uses much less electricity than an air conditioner and still offers plenty of cooling. If you do choose to use an air conditioner, please set the temperature around 24/25 degrees celcius.
Suriname is a multicultural country, the diverse cultures each have their own traditions but are generally very hospitable. Respect their traditions and try to adapt. Tip: Take your shoes off before entering a house.
Try not to use unnecessarily amounts of water and don’t forget turning of electrical devices when leaving your accommodation.
The tap water in Paramaribo is of good quality and drinkable. Most of the resorts in the inlands provide good drinkable filtered water as well. Bring a refillable bottle, this reduces the use of plastic.
Always throw your garbage and cigarette buds in a bin. PET bottles are separated from the other garbage at many locations, if they do please contribute.
If you have any questions about sustainable travel in Suriname or Travelife, please feel free to contact us.